This video popped into my inbox today and I want to share it with you. Squats per se are not perhaps what many view as a dance move or step but we do dance versions of squats. Pliés may be viewed as a similar type of movement but clearly they are not the same as squats – we don’t want the angle of the body and pelvis as required in a squat to be the same for pliés but we can see how the basic squat strengthens the big muscles of the legs, for example, so dancers may use squats as a strengthening exercise for their dance moves.
I like the fact that the trainer in this video, Aaron Barnett, national trainer for Fitpro team, explains the functional reasons for doing squats – being able to sit down and get up again being a key functional reason for doing squats. He goes on to explore a variety of ways to perform squats, adapting them to take account of anatomy, injury, purpose of performing squat and so on. From a dance teaching perspective it is a useful video to watch and consider how this could be useful in dance teaching.
You might want to watch the video and give some thought to understanding more about the functional aspect of movements that you teach and how this could relate to your dance teaching practice. You may not want to teach squats in the middle of centre work in a ballet class, for example, but can you think of steps and movements that you teach where there could be benefits for both teacher and student from understanding more about functional aspects or adaptations that could be made to suit individuals and their needs?
If you teach dance to older people then you will know that many older people lose muscle tone and strength as they age. Considering the functional aspects and value of dance moves could help older people to continue to perform movements that will help them to retain dignity and independence as they age.
After watching the video you may want to think about some of the teaching ideas presented that you could make use of in your dance teaching practice. Why not share ideas that you have got from this post in the comments below.
Happy New Year. There is always a lot to do at the beginning of the year and here at CPD for Dance Teachers it is a busy time. In response to requests for course lists to cover several months at a time the new course list covers from January to May. So you can book now for any of the courses on the list.
New courses coming later this year
There is preparation work being done on some new courses to add to the current courses. There will be news of them in the coming months. Watch out for announcements later in the year.
Our Short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers are very reasonably priced especially as they include at least three personal email tutorials/feedback during each course. This personal feedback personalises the course to your teaching practice in a way that teachers report to be very beneficial.
We don’t often increase our course fees but it is necessary to do so this year. Current fees per course are £55 and they will increase for courses booked after the end of February 2020 to £59. In order to give you an opportunity to still pay the current fee of £55 you can book any of the current courses listed to May 2020 at £55 as long as you pay for them before the end of February 2020. Course bookings paid for after the end of February 2020 will be £59 per course. The courses will still offer fantastic value and a convenient way to get some CPD under your belt.
You can find information sheets to download about all of our online courses on the Short Online Courses page.
We look forward to having an opportunity to work with you this year.
Depending on the sort of dance teaching you are involved with do you set an overall goal for each class or group of classes that you teach? What I mean is do you have an overall focus of learning and development beyond the specific content for one class?
An example of this could be in say a ballet class where you are teaching some dance technique aspects of the syllabus. The focus of the session is to develop the technique but what about a more general or overall focus that you can transport from one session to another? What about the bigger picture? An overall focus might be to add to each student’s understanding of safe dance practice (SDP). When you reflect on the class you would be able to identify not only how you introduced the technique but also how the class helped to develop the student’s understanding of safe dance practice. You can use this overall focus for a number of weeks, terms or determined length.
In an older adult class you might have set dance pieces that you want to teach or review and in addition to these you may also have an overall focus of encouraging participants to interact with each other. So in this situation the dance class has dance content goals but there is also an overall focus of increasing socialisation within the class. Over several classes there may be different dance content goals but the overall goal for the classes might be to promote wellbeing through increasing socialisation.
In a Highland class you may be working on say, the sword dance but an overall goal for the class might be to improve the use of the shoulder joint for improved carriage of the arms and upper body throughout all the Highland dances. And you bring this focus into whatever aspect of the sword dance that you are teaching. Or it may be that you want an overall focus of improving breathing and stamina. Again something that can be a focus in your Highland classes no matter what dance or steps you are teaching at individual classes.
A beginner ballroom class may being introduced to basics from the various dances but could an overall goal perhaps be for the dancers to become comfortable dancing as a couple no matter which dance they are dancing?
I am sure you get the picture whichever dance genres you teach. What are your overall goals for the learning and development of your dancers/students in addition to specific dance goals at each class or session?